A Minnesota man who mailed a bomb threat in 2015 to a mosque under construction in his Minneapolis neighborhood was sentenced Wednesday to one year in federal prison.
U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright sentenced Daniel George Fisher, 57, based on his guilty plea last year to obstructing the Tawfiq Islamic Center's free exercise of religion by threat of force.
Fisher confessed to sending the letter after the FBI traced fingerprints he left on the note last year.
Fisher told agents he wanted the staff at the Islamic center, which primarily serves the Twin Cities' large Oromo population, to think that anyone could have sent the note, which threatened to "blow up your building with all you immigrants in it."
The FBI's Minneapolis division investigated the case, and the Justice Department's civil rights division joined the prosecution.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton said Fisher's sentence "reflects the severity of his appalling hate crime."
Hate crimes against Muslims nationally rose 67 percent in 2015, the FBI reported last year, reaching the highest level since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Data for 2016 won't be reported until November, but preliminary data out of Minnesota show 14 reported crimes against Muslims — the highest on record in the state.